Reports | November 07, 2012 23:07

Ivanchuk takes early lead at Kings Tournament in Bucharest

Ivanchuk concentrating before his game against Nisipeanu

Vassily Ivanchuk leads the Kings Tournament in Bucharest, Romania after the first round. The 43-year-old Ukrainian grandmaster defeated Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu with White in a Nimzo-Indian. Veselin Topalov came very close to beating Fabiano Caruana in an Anti-Grünfeld, but the Bulgarian had to settle for a draw. This year the Kings Tournament is a double round robin with just four players.

Ivanchuk concentrating before his game against Nisipeanu | Photos by Macauley Peterson & provided by the organizers, more here

Event Kings Tournament | PGN via TWIC
Dates November 7th-13th, 2012
Location Bucharest, Romania
System 4-player double round robin
Players Fabiano Caruana, Veselin Topalov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
Rate of play

120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment per move from move 61.

Extra No draw offers allowed before move 30

 

Originally the Kings Tournament was supposed to take place 23 June - 4 July 2012 in Medias, Romania. However, just nine days before the start it was announced that the tournament had to be postponed: the financial crisis combined with local politics forced the organizers to cancel the Grand Slam event for the moment. Back then the organizers expressed their hopes to hold the event later in the year, and they managed.

All the turmoil led to a smaller playing field: the 6th edition's double round robin does not have six, but four players. Vassily Ivanchuk and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu are the two players who were in the original line-up, which also included Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Teimour Radjabov and Sergey Karjakin. For different reasons these players couldn't make it to Romania this month, but Fabiano Caruana and Veselin Topalov accepted an invitation instead.

Another novelty is the location. The tournament moved from the small towns of Bazna and Medias (where sponsor Romgaz has a resort and its headquarters) to Romania's capital. The venue is the Amphitheatre Hall of the National Institute of Statistics in downtown Bucharest.

The first three rounds are played on November 7th, 8th and 9th and then the last three rounds on November 11th, 12th and 13th. The rate of play is the classical 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 61. There's also the rule that direct draw offers are not allowed before move 30.

The field of players doesn't really have a clear favorite, but it's obvious that Nisipeanu has a tough week ahead of him. In the first round he never really got into the game against Ivanchuk, who said:

After the opening I was clearly better. He did not have enough compensation for the two bishops and his knights were not situated very well.

Nisipeanu:

Probably I messed up in the opening big time. I have to check my analysis of course. It's common nowadays that you forget and you're not able to reproduce it anymore.

PGN string

Ivanchuk beats Nisipeanu, grabs the lead in round 1

Like Ivanchuk, Topalov managed to get a serious advantage out of the opening, which is not easy when you're playing Caruana. The Italian invested many hours in his Grünfeld, but the Anti-Grünfeld position he got after White's 13.Nh3!? was rather unpleasant. Things got worse, and Caruana said himself:

White was pretty much just winning. I was down a pawn for nothing. [Then] I tried to create some mess. 

ECU President Silvio Danailov making the first move for Topalov, watched by FIDE's Nigel Freeman

Topalov had a big advantage, but missed something when he went for 28.Rg6!?. There were many possibilities in that position, especially playing a knight or a rook to d3 came into consideration. Soon after, the Bulgarian went for a long and forced line, hoping to checkmate his opponent's king in the middle of the board. But there was no mate.

PGN string

Topalov almost beat Caruana

Videos produced by Macauley Peterson

 

Kings Tournament 2012 | Pairings & results

Round 1   7 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2769 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 4
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 1-0 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 3
Round 2   8 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
4 GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 - GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 3
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2769 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 2
Round 3   9 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 - GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 4
3 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 - GM Topalov Veselin 2769 1
Round 4   11 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
4 GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 - GM Topalov Veselin 2769 1
3 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 2
Round 5   12 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
4 GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 2
1 GM Topalov Veselin 2769 - GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 3
Round 6   13 November 2012       14:30 CET    
SNr   Name Elo     Name Elo SNr
3 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2668 - GM Caruana Fabiano 2786 4
2 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2763 - GM Topalov Veselin 2769 1

Kings Tournament 2012 | Round 1 standings

 

 

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

Jonathan O'Connor's picture

Fantastic. You fixed the font size problem for game commentary in mobile browsers. Thanks.

MW's picture

How did I miss that this tournament was back on?

Zeblakob's picture

All upcoming events can be found here (middle of the page): http://www.2700chess.com/

eric's picture

yep, I was also surprised to see something at this level!

Peter Doggers's picture

Fyi we announced it here.

MW's picture

What can I say, must have just slipped by me.

harvey's picture

hm.. no Carlsen in this event ...

Harold Hansen's picture

Horribly empty! Help me please try to understand, why to organize such events, what is the catch for sponsors, organizer, etc.??

Zacalov Ramsay's picture

You are right, rather embarrassingly empty! It's probably better they host it in a small room than a large auditorium and brag instead about the internet coverage...

MW's picture

I'm a Carlsen fan, but I have to disagree with you guys... They had to reduce the complement, but they have: the always interesting Ivanchuk, the WCH contender and uncompromising player Topolov and the up-and-coming Caruana... this is a decent and interesting field.

Thomas's picture

It may just be an ongoing trend: Six player double round robins have become the most common supertournaments (I remember people complaining when Linares went from eight to six players), maybe we will now see more events with four players. There was always Hoogeveen with "semi-strong" but interesting fields, there was one Bilbao edition with four players - actually the "purest" one, no wildcards, only Grand Slam qualifiers. Next is Zurich in late February 2013 (Anand, Caruana, Gelfand, Kramnik). And even two-player events AKA friendly matches can be interesting.

Zacalov Ramsay's picture

We are not talking about the field - it is indeed a great field of players...we are talking about the empty audience, all the empty chairs in the auditorium...

Thomas's picture

Ah that's what you meant ... but the photo was taken before the start of the round - the moment for journalists to take pictures but not much happening yet for spectators. You may still be right that they focus on Internet coverage - can anyone (Macauley?) tell what they offer for onsite spectators: side events to play chess yourself, live commentary, book stand, social meeting point (bar), ... ?
The last major event I visited (the Amsterdam one with adjourned games) also had few spectators who got little beyond the bare games - but the venue (a converted sports hall) had plenty of people because an open was held in the same room.
The last time a major event was held in a small room far from ideal for spectators (London Grand Prix), organizers were also criticized for this part of the entire package.

Ruben's picture

The only line they had to analyse was in stead of Bg4? the Qh4! but they didn t . Such a pitty.

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